According to Deadline, CODA and Locke & Key breakout Emilia Jones has been tapped for the leading role in the upcoming biographical darkly comedy film titled Winner, centering around former American intelligence specialist Reality Leigh Winner, who became a key figure in uncovering Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Freaky star Kathryn Newton and Danny Ramira (Top Gun: Maverick) have also signed on to the project along with Emmy nominees Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) and Connie Britton (American Horror Story). The latter stars are set to play the respective roles of Reality’s parents.
“The film follows Winner (Jones), a brilliant young misfit from Texas who finds her morals challenged while serving in the U.S. Air Force and working as an NSA contractor,” reads the synopsis. “It will offer a fresh take on the traditional whistleblower thriller; the coming-of-age story follows an idealistic young woman persecuted for standing by her principles.”
Winner is being directed by The Spy Who Dumped Me filmmaker Susanna Fogel from a screenplay written by Kerry Howley, based on her 2017 New York Magazine article. Production has already started on the project.
“As a filmmaker, I strive to tell stories that interrogate the world we live in and the systems that are broken in it,” Fogel said in a statement. “But in a fun way. Reality Winner is the perfect heroine for a film that meditates on ideas of personal power, morality, and finding your voice. She’s a true individual: she speaks many languages, she loves her guns, she could destroy you on Twitter, and her obsession with Pikachu is unmatched. Clearly, she’s the perfect mouthpiece for a generation of people who are unique and fed up with feeling powerless. And there is no one more perfect to play her than Emilia Jones, one of the most exciting young actresses working today. I hope Reality’s story will inspire others to speak up and defend their beliefs, whatever the cost. I’m thrilled to partner with this team of artists and activists to bring this movie to life.”
Winner is produced by Fogel, Amanda Phillips, Shivani Rawat, Julie Goldstein, Scott Budnick, and Ameet Shukla. It is executive produced by Dani Melia, Peter Saraf, Daniel Bekerman, Connor Flanagan, and Big Beach Films.